Long-term outcome of arterial lesions in Behçet disease: a series of 101 patients

Medicine (Baltimore). 2012 Jan;91(1):18-24. doi: 10.1097/MD.0b013e3182428126.


The vasculitis of Behçet disease (BD) is distinctive because of involvement of both arteries and veins of all sizes. The concept of vasculo-Behçet disease has been adopted for cases in which vascular manifestations are present and often dominate the clinical features. While venous manifestations are frequent and have been reported in many publications, data regarding arterial lesions in patients with BD are rare and often isolated. In this study, we report the main characteristics, treatment, and long-term outcome of 101 patients with arterial lesions among a cohort of 820 (12.3%) BD patients. Factors that affect prognosis were assessed by multivariate analysis. There were 93 (91.2%) male patients; the median (Q1-Q3) age at diagnosis of BD was 33 (27-41) years. Arterial lesions included aneurysms (47.3%), occlusions (36.5%), stenosis (13.5%), and aortitis (2.7%). Lesions mainly involved the aorta (n = 25) and femoral (n = 23) and pulmonary (n = 21) arteries. Patients with arterial lesions were more frequently male (91.2% vs. 62.4%, respectively; p = 0.017) and had higher rates of venous involvement (80.4% vs. 29.8%, respectively; p < 0.001) compared to patients without arterial manifestations. Thirty-nine (38.6%) patients achieved complete remission. In multivariate analysis, the presence of venous involvement (odds ratio [OR], 0.29; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.08-1.11) and arterial occlusive lesions (OR, 0.13; 95% CI, 0.01-1.25) were negatively associated with complete remission. The use of immunosuppressants (OR, 3.38; 95% CI, 0.87-13.23) was associated with the occurrence of complete remission. The 20-year survival rate was significantly lower in BD patients with arterial involvement than in those without arterial lesions (73% vs. 89%, respectively; p < 0.0001). In conclusion, the long-term outcome of arterial lesions in BD is poor, especially in the case of occlusive lesions and associated venous involvement. The use of immunosuppressants improved the prognosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Arteries / pathology
  • Arteritis / drug therapy
  • Arteritis / etiology*
  • Arteritis / mortality
  • Arteritis / pathology
  • Behcet Syndrome / complications*
  • Behcet Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Behcet Syndrome / mortality
  • Behcet Syndrome / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Remission Induction
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Immunosuppressive Agents